Skip to main content

Metro Transit employees call for changes to policing, service

The letter also asks Metro Transit leaders to increase engagement with communities of color.

Current and former Metro Transit employees have penned a letter to officials asking for action to better serve riders of color.

Addressed to Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle, regional administrator Meredith Vadis and general manager Wes Kooistra, the letter asks for a number of changes revolving around fares, policing and more.

“We write to you to demonstrate our shared accountability and ask you to support actions we think are needed to empower our community for years to come,” the letter, written late last month, reads. “We are humbled and emboldened by the leadership demonstrated by our riders. We’ve learned from them that we can’t expect different outcomes from the same actions, regardless of our intentions.”

Among the actions the letter, employees ask Metro Transit to increase engagement with communities of color, who they point out are disproportionately likely to ride public transit.

The letter also asks that Metro Transit be more transparent with community members about decisions like Metro Transit Police Department staffing and new projects.

Employees asked that Metro Transit commit to maintaining service during future demonstrations like those following the killing of George Floyd. For several days after the unrest began, Metro Transit suspended bus and light rail service.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The letter calls for a civilian force to help enforce fares on Metro Transit, rather than police officers.

Legislation was introduced at the Capital that would establish such a program, but it failed to get to a final vote. Under the legislation, unarmed officers would also help with outreach to people experiencing homelessness.

“We wholly support systemic change that persists longer than the tenure of bold leaders,” the letter reads. “We strongly believe the actions outlined above, paired with a commitment to create more external accountability, create a framework on which we can build the just, equitable system our riders demand and deserve.”

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.

BrillyCarchiGoFundMe

Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.

ArrowheadRace

Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 9.31.03 AM

Old Navy closes Eagan store

There's another change in store for the popular Eagan strip mall.

Related

metro transit light rail riders

Metro Transit is adding more police, community service officers

The move comes as people return to commuting on public transit.

Blue Line light rail Metro Transit

Metro Transit workers threaten strike

Unionized Metro Transit workers rejected a contract offer from the Metropolitan Council by a 94% vote.

light rail

Data shows 54% increase in crimes on Metro Transit trains, buses in 2022

Drugs and weapons crimes increased the most, followed by liquor law violations.

metro transit

Metro Transit services to remain suspended through Tuesday

Services have been shut down since late last week.

Dave Hutchinson

What we know about Dave Hutchinson's job at the Metro Transit Police Department

Dave Hutchinson is back at the Metro Transit Police Department, but don't expect him to be out on patrol.

snow, buses, metro transit

Metro Transit to limit rider numbers on buses maintain social distancing

The announcement comes as Metro Transit has seen a sharp decrease in ridership.